NATURE CALLS: Do You Even Notice? How many birdlovers are there on RJ?

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 19, 2009 10:09 PM GMT
    Nature calls... nope not a run to the bathroom.... I'm asking if you pay much attention to the birds around you?

    For years in movies and TV shows, guys who are into birdwatching were considered geeks, dweebs.. about as far away from the "jock" image as you can get........ but my Dad taught me well. I'm amazed how many people can't identify even the basic bird calls, heck they don't even pay attention to whats happening around them.

    I'm always pointing out one kind of bird or another (or a bird call) to my bf... with, um, generally a disinterested response (but hey, he used to be that way with Astronomy and now he's hooked.)

    There is nothing better than the singing of a Ginny wren or a Western Meadowlark (our Kansas State Bird), the unique sounds of a Nuthatch on the side of a tree... or the shreek of a Bard Owl at night.

    So are there birdwatchers out there... or the clueless?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 19, 2009 10:19 PM GMT
    Yeah, Birds are fascinating to watch, and they are active all day and you don't have to go far away to see them Enjoy them in the back yard birdbath.
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    May 19, 2009 11:54 PM GMT
    Don't know about birdwatchers but there are probably some chickenhawks icon_redface.gif Seriously though, I used to live 3 houses down from a wildlife preserve and used to see all kinds of birds around my yard. Putting up a bird feeder really helped draw them in
  • DuggerPDX

    Posts: 386

    May 19, 2009 11:56 PM GMT
    We were just admiring a little Junko that was rummaging around outside our bedroom window last night. And for me the return of the Hummingbirds and Turkey Buzzards always signals that spring is just around the corner here in Oregon.
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    May 19, 2009 11:57 PM GMT
    I get into this for work, but enjoy it during my off time as well.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    May 20, 2009 12:01 AM GMT
    OMG! This is totally going to show my geek side.

    I feed and watch the birds. I have a feeder in the front and back yards and especially watch them when I sit on my back patio smoking a cigar.

    Just last Saturday, I identified the following:

    Cardinals
    Mockingbirds
    Doves
    Robins
    Wrens
    Sparrows
    Hawks
    Geese
    Ducks
    and a freaking Heron. That one got me stoked.

    Anyway, last week, the Dove population broke a record for the total amount congregating in my front yard. The old record of 6 was shattered with 15!!!


    I'm still trying to attract the finches, but the pines aren't close enough to me and the feeder isn't located in a quiet enough location.

    Plus, I finally got a squirrel to come around again.

    Okay. That's all for now. Geek check!
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    May 20, 2009 12:03 AM GMT
    I just spotted my first scissor-tailed flycatcher of the season a few days ago. They migrate to and from the area every fall / spring. AND!! When they show up in the late spring - it always means that the hot-hot summer weather is only a few weeks away. icon_cool.gif
    image.aspx?x=330

    I also love keeping track of the spring and fall duck migrations. Here's my favorite winter time 'visiting' duck (Bufflehead - a diving duck). They left the area about 6 weeks ago or so.
    bufflehead_duck.jpg
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    May 20, 2009 12:28 AM GMT
    Mockingbirds and catbirds are my fav's here in the burbs.
    They've got attitude.

    Back on the farm, the barn swallows were my favorites...and humming birds.
    Those suckers may be thumb-sized, but they're obnoxious little boogers....like fighter jets driving each other away from the nectar feeder.
  • metta

    Posts: 39165

    May 20, 2009 12:30 AM GMT
    I enjoy bird watching and listening to them. Living in a canyon next to a national forest with a creek and river, we get lots of birds. Some of my favorites include the egrets and owls, watching the hawks, listing to the sounds. I still find the wing span on the owls to be so amazing. We have a wide variety of brids.

    Here are a few:
    American Kestrel (falcon)
    Anna's hummingbird
    american goldfinch
    black phoebe
    black-headed grosbeak
    dark eyed junco
    double crested cormorant
    great egret
    mallard (duck)
    red tailed hawk
    western scrub jay




    Come to my nieghborhood and we can all watch them together ;)


    http://www.enature.com makes it easy to determine which bird and keep the information on what you have seen and when. icon_smile.gif

  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    May 20, 2009 12:34 AM GMT
    So one evening last August in Petersburg, VA, a buddy of mine and I were sitting on the 2nd floor pool deck of the Ramada Inn right off I-95. There was a thunderstorm approaching us from the north and we were trying to finish off good cigars. Just then, I saw a very large bird flying in our general direction about 3rd floor height. As it got closer, I could begin seeing the white feathers on its head and wing tips. Then I realized that the bird was our National Bird, the American Bald Eagle.

    That close to the interstate and all the other busy-ness of the area!!!
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    May 20, 2009 12:36 AM GMT
    I counted 20 cardinals at once in my tiny, urban, former backyard.
  • upsguy68

    Posts: 270

    May 20, 2009 12:39 AM GMT
    Love THE BIRDS! I have bluebird boxes around the perimeter of my 2 acre front yard. I love to see them come back every spring. I also have martins that build nests on my front porch.....little messy, but can't bring myself to tear them down.
  • hoo4u

    Posts: 119

    May 20, 2009 12:42 AM GMT
    For sure. Bird lover/watcher here. Used to put out suet and birdseed til the 400 pound black bear destroyed al the feeders and ate all the seed. Uh. Birds. You'll have to feed yourseffs.


    Bear_feeder.JPG
  • metta

    Posts: 39165

    May 20, 2009 12:47 AM GMT
    I get bears as well but they normally do not come around us in the day time.

    We also get bobcats, snakes, deer, squirrels, lots and lots of rabbits, fox, coyotees (often times in packs), etc.
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    May 20, 2009 12:56 AM GMT
    RuggerATX saidI get into this for work, but enjoy it during my off time as well.


    Hey Rugger, Do you know if some Mallards migrate? I'm in Irving, TX and every Spring/Fall we get a pair of Mallards that spend a night or two in our swimming pool - and then I don't see them again until the next Spring/Fall. I've no idea if it's the same ducks... but it's the funniest thing...
  • metta

    Posts: 39165

    May 20, 2009 12:58 AM GMT
    coolarmydude saidThen I realized that the bird was our National Bird, the American Bald Eagle.

    That close to the interstate and all the other busy-ness of the area!!!


    I like to watch those around Catalina Island. If you rent one of those boats and go around the other side of the island (farther than what you are suppost to do) you can see a bunch of them on the cliffs.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 20, 2009 1:03 AM GMT
    Wow, I'm impressed... I wondered if this thread would just be a cast off....

    I've had some pretty interesting experiences with some birds... spotted a bluebird right up on my deck, which is pretty unusual I thought... and always listed to the brown thrashers... however I don't like them scratching around the landscaping looking for worms and the like. Its amazing how much bark pieces they can knock out into the yard.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 20, 2009 1:16 AM GMT
    I'm not familiar with the bird calls, but I have several feeders in my front yard. Always get all kinds of birds. Love to sit out on the swing and watch them.
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    May 20, 2009 1:25 AM GMT
    Maybe not the calls but I spent a lot of time looking at bird books when I was little and bored at home. My favorites were the raptors (of course) in particular the osprey. I can identify lots of birds around my area, like merlins, swallows, pilleated woodpeckers, ravens, and hawks etc. There are actually a group of wild turkeys that wander around my neighbourhood.
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    May 20, 2009 8:00 PM GMT
    jtaustin said
    RuggerATX saidI get into this for work, but enjoy it during my off time as well.


    Hey Rugger, Do you know if some Mallards migrate? I'm in Irving, TX and every Spring/Fall we get a pair of Mallards that spend a night or two in our swimming pool - and then I don't see them again until the next Spring/Fall. I've no idea if it's the same ducks... but it's the funniest thing...


    I think they migrate, but don't know for sure. Most of the E. half of Texas is migratory bird corridor. Irving seems a bit too inland, but weather patterns can change their route and I've heard that this year many species are drifting inland (maybe due to hurricane damage last fall).
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    May 20, 2009 9:04 PM GMT
    There are many birds that visit us here during the cold months. Even now, there are some very exotic gray cranes on the river not far from my home. I noticed a crows nest in the cliffs where I go hiking and I have seen Eagles and Hawks. I even see many white owls when I hike at night. Yesterday I saw a bunch of mini finches....wow it was amazing to see them in flight!!

    So I do notice birds of all kinds.

    Happy Watching....

    Oh...we have quail all over too...lol
  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    May 20, 2009 9:51 PM GMT
    Lots of the mallards come up here to western Canada. In autumn they go south until they find a place where the water remains open all winter long.

    I'm a total bird geek. The only book that has a permanent place at my computer desk is Birds of Alberta. I keep it close so that I can run and identify anything uncommon that flies into my yard while I'm working from home. I'm also a gardening freak, and the things I grow attract a lot of birdies.

    It's been a while since I've visited Real Jock. It's nice to see a forum that isn't about gay marriage or the guy above me.
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    May 20, 2009 10:05 PM GMT
    jtaustin said
    RuggerATX saidI get into this for work, but enjoy it during my off time as well.


    Hey Rugger, Do you know if some Mallards migrate? I'm in Irving, TX and every Spring/Fall we get a pair of Mallards that spend a night or two in our swimming pool - and then I don't see them again until the next Spring/Fall. I've no idea if it's the same ducks... but it's the funniest thing...


    Mallards as a species are highly migratory, like most North American waterfowl, and as art_smass said, some will stay as far north as open water allows. They migrate over land and along the coast. Individual mallards can grow quite accustomed to life around people....so much that they will sometimes nest in backyards near swimming pools and other man-made water bodies...who knows...maybe someday near your pool jtaustin ;)



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 20, 2009 10:09 PM GMT
    almost forgot the topic...I love birds, been watching them since I was a young lad...I'm pretty good with the eastern species by sight and by call/song...a nice skill to have for all those hikers out there!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 20, 2009 10:27 PM GMT
    YAH! Bird nerd!

    My grandmother got me into birdwatching as a kid. Mostly backyard birding with her feeders but it grew from there. The white throated sparrow call is my sure sign of spring...well that and the red winged blackbird. I volunteered for 2 weeks last spring with a migratory bird banding program...it was a great experience and amazing the be able to see and hold the little guys up close. My yard this year has already seen a lot of species passing through and I am excited to see what else is going to arrive as summer goes on.